Rallye du Maroc Monster Energy Honda : A taste of Dakar riding around Laâyoune

Organization considered the third stage probably the hardest one in the program of this year’s Rallye Du Maroc, with a 315 kilometres special section around Laayoune. The dunes were the main attraction for riders in their aim to prepare for the next Dakar. Monster Energy Honda Team remains consistent and determined to have a word to say in the podium standings.

David Castera is the face of Rallye Du Maroc and when it comes to Dakar he certainly knows what he is talking about. The ex-rider and race director considered the third stage as a great test for the South Arabia Dakar. Sand and dunes were the main course along the 323 kilometres special stage, with departure and arrival in Laayoune. That was the highlight but not the only ingredient, since there were plenty of rocky sections off piste – some with a tricky visibility. Like yesterday, navigation was a key factor for success.

Ricky Brabec finished in fifth position, José Ignacio Cornejo was 7th, Pablo Quintanilla closed the Top 10 and Adrien Van Beveren was 11th in today’s stage. Temperatures remained high with 37ºC and – worse –many dust in the air affected visibility and comfort of riders and support teams.

With just two days to go, tomorrow’s stage of Rallye Du Maroc makes the way back to the bivouac in Tan Tan . There will be a total 565 kilometres to cover, 219 km in laiason followed by 346 kilometres of special stage.

Ricky Brabec #2 : « This was a positive day for us, I spend the all stage up front with my team mate Adrien and my old team mate Kevin – we opened the track all together. I tried to make up the time here and there but it was not easy, it’s been difficult. There are two days left, tomorrow being one of the longest days. Now we will make some rest and we’ll make a good push tomorrow. The navigation here in Morocco is always pretty difficult, it’s really fast, really rocky and this means a lot of notes. »

José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « I had a lot of fun today, this was another tough day in Morocco. I felt really good on my Honda CRF 450 Rally, made only one mistake that cost me several minutes. I think I could have done a better stage, but we have two more days to go and we will fight for the best possible result. »

Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « The third stage was a quick one with lot of stones and some dunes. I have tried to ride as fast as I could, but I still felt some pain in my shoulder. This made me feel limited. I was riding alone along the stage thinking about safety. It was hard but I am happy to be here and motivated to contribute to keep Honda’s leadership in the championship. »

Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « It was really difficult to open the stage and I have crashed two times. That happened when I did not have a reference line to follow so you never know if it’s going to be soft or hard. Then I was caught by Kevin and Ricky and we did the all stage together. I am happy about my navigation, I was focused on that. Overall I had a good performance. »

Rider Standings
Provisional Results Selective Section 3 Laayoune-Laayoune
1. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 03h09m42s
2. Howes Skyler – USA – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 03h10m07s
3. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 03h12m20s
4. Sunderland Sam – GBR – Gas Gas Factory Team, 03h12m45s
5. Brabec Ricky – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 03h13m01s
6. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 03h13m12s
7. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 03h15m41s
10. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 03h16m26s
11. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 03h19m02s